The First World War took the lives of an estimated 16 million soldiers and civilians, and left countless others physically and psychologically wounded. The Second World War took an even more staggering 60 million lives. The human cost of the wars has seen the creation of a new language of remembrance, which remains to this day. It can be seen in war memorials in cities, towns, schools, places of worship and workplaces, as well as in rituals such as Remembrance Sunday and the two-minute silence at 11am each 11 November.
During the school’s Remembrance Assemblies and Service, we will remember all of the fallen and in particular the 756 Old Bedfordians who lost their lives in the two wars, all of whose names are inscribed upon the walls of the school’s memorial hall.
It is also particularly poignant to see the family links between current boys and Old Bedfordians that have served, been injured or made the ultimate sacrifice in war. We want to do our very best to keep their memories alive, which is why we have written a booklet ‘Bedford School Remembers’, which features the stories of four fallen Old Bedfordians who are related to pupils in the school today, as well as the touching story of OB Louis Lipsett (1887-92), who was the last General to be killed in the First World War, just one month before the war ended.
We have also produced a short film which tells the story of OB Flight Lieutenant Jeffrey Bryan (1934-37), who gave his life to save others, in the Second World War.
We hope that all their stories will resonate with you as much as they did with us as we researched them, and that you will share the tales of their bravery and ultimate sacrifice to keep their memories alive.